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dda 21213 (2CD)
 
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AVISON: 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti
THE AVISON ENSEMBLE

Thought by many to be Avison's greatest masterpieces, these arrangements of Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas were for many decades the only Avison music known. Now thanks to Gordon Dixon and the Avison Ensemble, a complete edition of his quite large output is weill underway; this is the fifth in the series, following two sets on Naxos and two on Divine Art. This is sublime baroque music at its best, performed on period instruments.

other CDs in our Avison series: 21210 21211 21214 21215

To buy all five volumes at a special low price find product no. MW5

playing time: CD: 78.16; CD2: 76.40
direct sale price:  £15.99
audio  sample:  Concerto no. 3 in D minor - 3rd mvt, Vivace
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tracks:
Concerto no. 1 in A major
Concerto no. 2 in G major
Concerto no. 3 in D minor
Concerto no. 4 in A minor
Concerto no. 5 in D minor
Concerto no. 6 in D major
Concerto no. 7 in G minor
Concerto no. 8 in E minor
Concerto no. 9 in C major
Concerto no. 10 in D major
Concerto no. 11 in G major
Concerto no. 12 in D major

review extracts: for full reviews click here
“Utterly beautiful...the performances are beyond praise. The intonation is impeccable, the pacing perfect, the balance is exemplary... sensitive to every mood change and expressive nuance.” – Edith Eisler (Listen)
“Thoroughly enjoyable and technically first class. In short this is another fine exploration of Avison's under explored legacy. The ensemble that bears his name does him further honour in this excellently recorded survey.” - Jonathan Woolf (MusicWeb) 

“Excellent series... finely presented performances led with natural violinistic flair by Pavlo Beznosiuk. The warmer, more polished sound of the Avisons just puts them ahead [of the Hyperion recording by the Brandenburg Concort]. – Lindsay Kemp (Gramophone)

“This is exemplary baroque string playing, and at its most tasteful. This recording contains something for everybody – the Scarlatti enthusiast, the musicologist, the teacher and the student, as well as string and keyboard players. For me it offered a combination of nostalgia and surprises, a motivation both to revisit some neglected keyboard music and also to delve into more of the works of this composer whom Charles Burney referred to as ‘an ingenious and polished man, an elegant writer upon his art'.” - Ibrahim Azin (The Consort)

“Excellent pair of CDs- if anything this is finer music [than the op. 9 and 10 which I so recently recommended] and the performances and recording are equally fine. This is early music without the rough edges... recorded sound is first-rate. All [the Avison Ensemble recordings] are very worthy of your consideration.” – Brian Wilson (Musicweb)

“An important series of recordings...beautifully-crafted music, very much of its time...delightfully varied, with a fascinatingly wide range of expression. Very gifted musicians whose corporate and individual artistry is evident. This issue is one that deservers wide success. Strongly recommended.” – Robert Matthew-Walker (Musical Opinion)

“The playing is uniformly superb. The results, especially in performances of this calibre, are such that the listener is able... to return to the originals with fresh ears – surely the measure of success of any good transcription... The recorded sound is excellent.... Fascinating and colourful works.” – Robert Levett (International Record Review)

“Avison's arrangements and re-workings are never less than engaging and stylish. However, the real trump card is the quality with which they're played here... springy rhythms combine with a lovely, pliable way with the music's pacing and phrasing.” – Malcolm Hayes (Classic FM Magazine)

“The crew do a fine job of playing note perfect with passion. A solid diversion from warhorse repertoire for jaded ears.” – Chris Spector (MidWest Record)
“This delightful two-disc set is a welcome addition to the catalogue...the result is quite enthralling. Each concerto is a joy to listen to. Divine Art’s presentation is, as usual, impeccable.... with an excellent recording to boot” – Gerald Fenech (ClassicalNet)

“These are beautiful pieces...the treatment here is gentle and reflective... though not lacking in energy; the recording has a warm, full sound.” – Crawford (American Record Guide)

“12 effective orchestral concertos; substantial pieces, earning lively and sensitive playing. Some powerful playing especially from Pavlo Beznosiuk” – George Pratt (BBC Music Magazine)
“Avison shows his strength of character my making [the sonatas] his own...another enjoyable contribution from18th century Geordieland” – Peter Spaull (Liverpool Daily Post)

“A snapshot of changing tastes,,, Avison's shoehorning of Scarlatti's keyboard textures into the concerto grosso format is ingenious... Beznosiuk's interpretations emphasize sweetness and smoothness. Recommended for British music lovers and serious fans of the period, and nowhere less than pleasant for anyone else.” Performance 4.5/5; Sound 4/5 – James Manheim (Allmusic)

“A very enjoyable pair of CDs. Avison operates with precisely that mingled air of admiration and reservation he expresses [in his writing on Scarlatti – see full review]. The very nature of the exercise registers his delight in Scarlatti's music. These are fine, loving performances. Pavlo Beznosiuk and his ensemble have done the memory of Charles Avison great service with these and other recordings.” – Glyn Purslove (Musicweb)
“The performances are lively and expert. I would be happy with either of the two available recordings [the other being by the Brandenburg Consort] but if forced to chose I would opt for the Avison Ensemble” – Ron Salemi (Fanfare)